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Genital Injury - Male


  • Injuries to the male genital area (scrotum or penis)

Types of Genital Injuries in Males

  • The penis and scrotum are exposed. In young boys, the scrotum is injured more often than the penis. All the common skin injuries can occur here.
  • Cut. Minor cuts or scrapes heal quickly.
  • Bruise. Minor bruises heal quickly.
  • Zipper Injury. The foreskin or skin on the penis can get caught on a zipper. Most parents will want a doctor to help with removal.
  • Urethral Injury (Serious). The urethra passes through the entire penis. It can be injured by a kick to the groin or a straddle injury. The urethra can be bruised or torn. The main symptoms are bloody urine and trouble passing urine.
  • Painful Scrotum. A blow to the testicle will normally cause severe pain. If there was no damage, the pain should go away within 30 minutes. If it persists, the boy needs to be examined.
  • Swollen Scrotum (Serious). Any boy with a swollen scrotum from an injury needs to be examined. It may be minor, but need to rule out any other problems.
  • Hematoma (Blood Clot) of Scrotum. Blunt trauma can cause a large blood clot to form inside the scrotum. Sometimes, it needs to be drained. This can happen from being hit by a ball during sports. The main finding is severe pain and a swollen scrotum.
  • Rupture of Testicle (Serious). A direct blow to the scrotum can also cause a tear of the capsule around the testicle. To save the testicle, this needs emergency surgery. This can happen from a kick to the groin. The main finding is severe pain and a swollen scrotum.

Straddle Injuries

  • An injury to the groin from falling on an object that is being straddled.
  • Examples are playground equipment, crossbars of a bike, or a fence.
  • In boys with a straddle injury, the urethra can be bruised or torn. The urethra allows urine to pass from the bladder to the outside.
  • A symptom of a damaged urethra is blood at the penis opening.  Other findings are bloody urine, trouble starting the stream or pain when passing urine.

When To Call

Call 911 Now

  • Major bleeding that can't be stopped
  • Fainted or too weak to stand

Go to ER Now

  • Large deep cut that will need many stitches
  • Skin bleeding won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
  • Skin of penis or scrotum caught in zipper

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Skin is split open or gaping and may need stitches
  • Skin is cut and No past tetanus shots. Note: tetanus is the "T" in DTaP, TdaP, or Td vaccines.
  • Swollen or painful scrotum
  • Pain or trouble passing urine
  • Blood in urine or at penis opening
  • Severe pain and not better 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Age less than 1 year old
  • Could have been caused by sexual abuse
  • You think your child has a serious injury
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Dirty cut or hard to clean and no tetanus shot in more than 5 years
  • Clean cut and no tetanus shot in more than 10 years
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Genital pain or swelling lasts more than 7 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor genital injury

Care Advice

Bleeding - How to Stop:

  • For any bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use a gauze pad or clean cloth. Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
  • Note: minor cuts in the genital area can bleed a lot. This is because of the rich blood supply.
  • For the same reason, the cut heals quickly.

Cut or Scrape Treatment:

  • Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes.
  • For any dirt, scrub gently with a wash cloth.
  • Put on an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin). No prescription is needed. Use 2 times per day.

Cold Cloth for Bruise:

  • For bruises or swelling, put a cold wet washcloth on the skin.
  • Use once for 20 minutes, but only if tolerated.
  • Reason: helps reduce the bleeding and pain.

Pain Medicine:

  • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
  • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
  • Use as needed.

What to Expect:

  • Cuts and other minor injuries in the genital area heal quickly. Most often, they heal in 3 or 4 days.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • Pain becomes severe
  • Passing urine becomes painful or hard to do
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse


Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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